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Nescac D3 Recruiting

WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
edited January 15 in Athletic Recruits
How much do sports help with D3 recruiting? My child is being recruited for a sport that schools struggle to find athletes for. However these schools are top schools academics wise (4-4.5GPA) She has a 3.5 UW and 3.7 from a very competitive high school in the state. Mix of honors and college level classes. Great ECs. Is it really possible to be looking at that level of colleges? Her coach seems to think so however her counselor feels they are huge reaches. Thank you for any input.
edited January 15
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Replies to: Nescac D3 Recruiting

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3338 replies63 threads Senior Member
    edited January 15
    WG2021 wrote: »
    How much do sports help with D3 recruiting? My child is being recruited for a sport that schools struggle to find athletes for. However these schools are top schools academics wise (4-4.5GPA) She has a 3.5 UW and 3.7. Mix of honors and college level classes. Great ECs. Is it really possible to be looking at that level of colleges? Her coach seems to think so however her counselor feels they are huge reaches. Thank you for any input.

    It depends on the school, sport, the level of the athlete, and how much influence the coach has with admissions. What are the ACT/SAT scores?

    In NESCAC there is a wide range of academic requirements between say Trinity and Bowdoin, or Williams and Connecticut College.
    edited January 15
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Taking SAT in March so we will know more then!

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  • politepersonpoliteperson 453 replies4 threads Member
    Sports can help quite a bit. At most of these schools, coaches have the ability to support a limited number of athletic recruits during the admission process. This can turn an academic reach into an overall match or even safety for some recruits. The college coach will have a much better idea of the academic threshold needed for supported recruits than will the typical high school guidance counselor.

    The caveat is that coaches can’t support everyone they want. They get a limited number of slots each year. So during the recruiting process they are trying to identify the very few recruits for whom they will use those slots. Those recruits are usually encouraged to apply ED and have a very good chance of admission (as high as 95+% at some schools). For recruits that don’t receive that coach support, though, chances of admission aren’t enhanced much by the sport. It’s just another EC.

    Your guidance counselor might not be aware of these nuances for athletes.
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you, the colleges we looked at so far have mentioned verbally that they will support her application and her sport is top priority. They did not ask about her grades at all.

    If she does end up getting in, how do these students do academically? Will a A- B+ hard working student be able to keep up?
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  • politepersonpoliteperson 453 replies4 threads Member
    edited January 15
    A good student who is willing to work hard will do just fine at most of these schools.

    I’m surprised they didn’t ask about grades. Perhaps they discussed that with her current coach. In any case, I think I’d try to nail down what effect coach support has at the particular schools you’re looking at. NESCACs (which I assumed was where she was looking) have a formal system for this, and coach support can be decisive. Some of the UAA schools have less formal systems. Before a final decision I’d ask the coach what his/her experience is getting recruits with similar academic records admitted.
    edited January 15
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  • MWolfMWolf 2057 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Each NESCAC school allows a number of athletic recruits for their varsity teams. Most need to be with the range of SAT and GPAs of the other accepted students, but coaches can recruit a small number of students with academics which are below average for the college.

    So your child can be recruited to one of the NESCACs as an athlete, even though their academic are below those of the rest of the accepted students.

    http://ephblog.com/2017/10/10/athletic-admissions-details/
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3338 replies63 threads Senior Member
    edited January 15
    I'm also surprised the coaches didn't ask about grades. Typically they will give a target ACT/SAT number as well.

    Definitely ask enough questions to make sure you are understanding the language each coach is using....it varies by school, even within the same conference. Pre-reads won't happen until the summer before senior year (at least at the NESCACs, and at least for now).

    From there the coaches will decide who to give full support to....full support athletes with positive pre-reads have a very high rate of admission. NESCAC allows a max of 14 football slots and 2 for each other sport.....but some schools limit this further. Some coaches will also give soft support to some athletes, which has a lower rate of admission.

    Note that not all NESCACs use the same recruiting practices as Williams (link in #6). Also not sure that Williams recruiting is the same it was in that 2017 article, due to the arrival of a new president.


    edited January 15
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you. Her sport is a sport that most athletes seem to go D1 so D3 seems to be in need.
    We are still in junior year so these are unofficial visits, just want to make sure we are not reaching too high. Thank you for the info!
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  • arbitrary99arbitrary99 127 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited January 15
    NESCACs (which I assumed was where she was looking) have a formal system for this, and coach support can be decisive. Some of the UAA schools have less formal systems.

    Good advice.

    However, just as the NESCAC's can vary in their degree of support (limited by the conference rules), some of the UAA's actually have a more formal and more certain system as well. For example, U of Chicago issues an "early write" which is a letter stating the student will be admitted when they send out ED1 admissions providing the student maintains the same scholastic average they had. (Some refer to this as a likely letter, but it actually is phrased more certain than that.) To get this letter, one must submit the full application and recommendations and essays typically before October 1, and with full coaches support will receive the decision a few weeks later.

    To the student, instead of relying on having a positive pre read based on grades and SAT/ACT, and only the coach stating they have their full support and would/should get in, the UChicago letter is from the admissions office based on the full application and is received well before the ED1 deadline.

    edited January 15
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you for the information, at this point we are just doing unofficial visits and meetings with coaches, and so far most have offered support if she is interested which seems encouraging. They did give some idea of minimums which she does meet.
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I'm pretty sure all of the NESCAC school conduct an academic read in July for the recruits. The admissions committee looks at transcripts and gives the coach a go/no go. There may be some nuances in there, as in this player is a band A, B, or C (I'm referencing a series the Bowdoin student paper did a few years ago), and then the coach has to determine which players to support.

    Anecdotally: every coach gets "all" his/her recruits in. IRL: things fall apart. I would like to believe that if a coach tells a recruit he has support, and to apply ED, then the coach will do everything possible. But even then, things fall apart.

    In other words, if you're a C band, the coach may determine that you're athletic impact is great enough to go all-in on. Or, coach might take 3 B-bands (or some sort of murky calculus). CAVEAT: we all attempt to make sense of the process, and I'm not sure there is any underlying rational that persists year to year, school to school.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 775 replies8 threads Member
    I know our kids are playing different sports, but my son's NESCAC experience has not remotely been as you describe! I suspect she must be a top athlete in her sport.I've found these boards to be invaluable, I hope you'll share what info you can (as will I) as you go through the process.
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    What band would a 3.5-3.7 gpa student be in for a college like Bowdoin or Williams?
    If she loves it there should she use her ED for that college for example or go with a safer option like Conn College or Trinity?

    Not there yet just theoretically speaking if the above were to offer full support.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6547 replies115 threads Senior Member
    As someone upthread posted, recruiting results will depend not only on the academic level of the school but on the level of the team and where your child would fit into it. For instance Trinity has among the highest acceptance rates in NESCACs but also among the top schools in the nation for squash, so a recruit would have to be better than one applying to Hamilton or Colby, schools with lower acceptance rates, in order to get the coach's top level of support.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3338 replies63 threads Senior Member
    edited January 15
    WG2021 wrote: »
    What band would a 3.5-3.7 gpa student be in for a college like Bowdoin or Williams?
    If she loves it there should she use her ED for that college for example or go with a safer option like Conn College or Trinity?

    Not there yet just theoretically speaking if the above were to offer full support.

    Regardless the school, if the pre-read is positive and coach offers full support, the admission rates are high.....often an ED app is required in exchange for the offer of full support.

    Bands aren't used by all the schools, and placement would be a function of GPA and test score.

    Edited to add: at schools that use bands and have 3 levels, aside from football, coaches with 2 slots won't even have a slot in each band. Some higher achieving sports (where the school wants to offset lower achievers, typically in the helmet sports) may only have A slots.
    edited January 15
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  • Sue22Sue22 6547 replies115 threads Senior Member
    You can get an idea of how she tests by looking at her PSAT.
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Yes that’s what we are noticing, some of the colleges more at her level academically may have better teams so they have less need. It’s the higher ones academics wise that are very much in need of athletes in her sport.
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  • WG2021WG2021 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Yes for sure. What has your experience been so far?
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3338 replies63 threads Senior Member
    It’s the higher ones academics wise that are very much in need of athletes in her sport.

    Yes, this happens......would be good to find out what circumstances have led to this need, e.g., does the school not support this sport with full slots? Want to keep the team going with only walk-ons? Has their been significant coach turnover?
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  • merc81merc81 10947 replies179 threads Senior Member
    edited January 15
    Sue22 wrote:
    For instance Trinity has among the highest acceptance rates in NESCACs but also among the top schools in the nation for squash . . . .

    Of interest, over 60% of Trinity men's team squash players originated internationally, while at other NESCACs the entire team may be from the U.S.
    edited January 15
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